You just have to be creative. I just wouldn’t take no for an answer and found a way to make it work for me. I was fortunate enough to have the technical skills and ability to manage my own contracts and serve in multiple capacities in order to be able to reduce labor costs and maximize my profitability and re-invest it in my business. That’s how it worked for me.
How did reading A.G. Gaston’s biography inspire you as an entrepreneur?
What it did for me is not allow me to make any excuses. There was absolutely no excuse for me not to succeed, because of all the resources that I have today that he didn’t have. His story was so magnificent. He not only inspired me, but the writing of the book also gave me great insight into his career as an entrepreneur. It helped to guide me today in what it is that I’m doing.
A.G. Gaston has 10 rules for success. Which rule has guided you most in your enterprises?
Find a need and fill it. Finding a need and filling that need, it sounds like a very basic principle, but it is the roadmap to success. Oftentimes, many entrepreneurs may look at a business idea, and business ideas are wonderful. Entrepreneurs are visionaries. We are visionaries by nature, but a business opportunity and a business idea are two totally different things. What Dr. Gaston is simply saying there is, that a business opportunity is finding a need and filling it as opposed to dreaming of an idea there may not necessarily be a market for. This puts you in the line of fire where you may be putting your investment at risk.
Any final words for someone starting their own small business for the first time?
A lot of times people go into business for the wrong reasons. If you go into business and the only objective is to generate wealth for yourself, if money is the only thing that gets you up every day and that’s the only thing that motivates you to continue to go forward, I don’t think becoming an entrepreneur is for you.
There are going to be some days that money is going to be the greatest challenge. There are going to be times where you are going to have to sacrifice, and you may feel you’ve sacrificed all that you have, [thinking] “I’ve invested all that I have and now I should be able to reap the rewards and take my profits and go home.” The responsibilities of an entrepreneur are greater than that.
Going into business comes with a greater level of responsibility and that is enriching and uplifting those that are around you as you continue to climb and progress. I would encourage them to look beyond the bottom line and do something to enrich the lives of your fellow man and create jobs as you continue to grow and develop.
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